CINCINNATI -- An assistant manager at a St. Vincent de Paul store and donation center was robbed at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon -- just across the street from Cincinnati Police Department’s District 3 headquarters.
According to Larry Shields, the charity organization’s local director of community relations, the employee was taking money to the bank when the armed robber approached him.
"It’s really an awful situation," said Shields. "For someone to come and attack someone where they’re taking cash to the bank, it’s just a despicable act this time of year."
But not one that’s unheard-of.
Major Timothy Lyle, who works with the Salvation Army, said his organization has seen a handful of people attempt to steal from their bellringers’ red kettles.
"There’s desperate people in every community, and folks do what they feel they have to do," Lyle said.
The Salvation Army advises its workers to use common sense and not to put up a fight if they encounter a person attempting to steal from them, but Lyle said he wished people who feel driven to steal from charity organizations would approach them as customers instead.
"We’d rather they come to us asking for help," he said. “We want to help them."
Cincinnati police said Tuesday night they were still searching for a suspect in the St. Vincent de Paul robbery. Anyone with information on the incident should contact authorities.